Facebook Loses Users In The UK

    February 22, 2008

Between December and January, Facebook experienced a five percent decline in unique visitors in the UK.  From the company’s perspective, this certainly isn’t good.  The dip probably doesn’t spell the end of the popular social network, however.

Facebook Loses Users In The UKFacebook drops 5% between December and January

The five percent fall represents the first time Facebook ever suffered a loss among UK users.  Still, Nielsen found that MySpace endured an identical drop, and Bebo failed to attract two percent of the users it’s accustomed to seeing.  If anything (and by that, we mean if you’re feeling especially pessimistic), social networking as a whole is losing its glow in the UK.

Advertisers don’t need to grow any more uneasy than they already are, though, and folks who are only now growing used to Facebook shouldn’t feel that they came too late.

Everyone needs to remember that December and January aren’t run-of-the-mill months – holidays and vacations are packed in tight.  Travel can whisk people away from their computers, and in any event, relatives who haven’t been seen in a year tend to take precedence over zombie games and poking people.

If the declines in unique visitors continue between January and February, social networks’ UK operations may need to worry.  But for the time being, a slight dip shouldn’t be a problem; as Nielsen also pointed out, Facebook remains up 712 percent on a year-to-year basis.

UPDATE: Just received a note from a Facebook spokesperson . . . .  Seems like the company’s stats tell a different story.

"The number of users for Facebook continues to climb in the UK.  Our internal monthly active user numbers rose between December and January in the UK and are now at more than 8.3 million.  Facebook tracks active monthly users, rather than registered user or unique visitors.  Active users reflect those who have used the site in the past 30 days."